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Old 13-01-2012, 15:03   #1
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Advice Please - Gemini Purchase Gone Awry Dec 2012

Broker or Owner to blame? My first sailboat (Multi-hull) purchase (attempted) Dec 2012 gone awry. Advice please from the "owners guild". Found the boat I wanted, made my offer(s), agreed on price, signed brokers agreeement & terms, sent deposit. Went to survey, which passed to my liking. After survey, Toronto broker then tells me Canadian owner wants more money than agreed. I disagree pointing to the agreement, whereby I'm told Owner picks up anchor departing Freeport without further communication, saying deal is off. Broker voluntarily returns deposit however I am left with the survey fees, through no fault of my own. Broker then tells me nothing can be done other than legal, and who's gonna do that for $1000 bucks. Frustrated not jaded.
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Old 13-01-2012, 15:07   #2
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

Sorry to hear that. Sounds to me like the seller got the benefit of a fresh survey for a boat he's trying to sell, at your expense.

I'm in the market for a Gemini, too. Can you tell me which one you were looking at?
I don't want to waste any time with that guy.
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Old 13-01-2012, 15:19   #3
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

This sucks, it sounds like you did everything right. You gave the owner a survey for free. I am not a lawyer, but it seems like you have a case against the owner. The broker is also out his fair share for doing what he is suppost to do. You might be able to get the broker to file something jointly with you against the owner so you both can recoop your expencises. Chances are the owner got cold feet, felt like he was getting taken advantage of by the broker, and wanted out. You do not know what promises the broker made to the seller, the seller may have a beef with the broker. You might be able to make a deal with the owner alone if the broker is ok with it. He still has a right to a percent of the deal but may be willing to wave that right in order to make everyone happy.
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Old 13-01-2012, 15:24   #4
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

Not wanting to get involved in name calling directly, I can say there's only a few for sale in Dec in Bahama's water(s) . With a little searching, you can check the boat out on You Tube as well. Toronto Broker still actively selling boat. Good Luck and thx for your reply.
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Old 13-01-2012, 15:31   #5
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

Hey Rocketman, Good advice from a knowledgeable source I can tell. It is indeed very strange & unethical behaviour. I fear the promises made by the broker to the seller is at the stake here.
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Old 13-01-2012, 15:42   #6
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

1) Never EVER give a survey to anyone involved in the deal (either broker or owner). It's yours. If they want a copy, they can pay you for it. The exceptions are the bank and your insurance company, both of which will require a copy. If you gave a broker or seller a copy of that survey, you've made a mistake. If the surveyor gave them a copy, you can probably proceed legally against the surveyor for giving out a copy. As an "appraiser", he is bound by confidentiality rules.

2) Get an attorney. You may be able to file suit AND place a lien against the boat. A lien will have to be paid off before the boat can be sold or financed.
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Old 13-01-2012, 16:02   #7
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

Yeah, never hand over a copy of the Survey - but I would use extracts where needed. Of course once something is identified then it is either clearly not right (by simply looking at) or at least the Vendor can see why something is being argued over.....even if he disagrees.

FWIW, this case does seem an odd one - and fairly rare / unusual.

Unless the Sale Agreement has any specific (and worthwhile $$$) penalties for the Vendor breaking the contract then I think have to suck it up. If boat and owner were based in one country then might be worth going legal (at least to a Lawyers letter), but if he is on the hoof internationally then probably more aggro (and cost) than it's worth.

Good news is that he didn't sail off after you had paid for it.........
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Old 13-01-2012, 16:09   #8
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

Standard practice in Australia is parties negotiate, a price is agreed, ten percent deposit is paid into Brokers trust account, then and only then do sea trial and survey happen, if the seller gets unreasonable, then he risks forfeit of the deposit or part thereof, e.g. less expenses by buyer and broker fees.
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Old 13-01-2012, 16:11   #9
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
1) Never EVER give a survey to anyone involved in the deal (either broker or owner). It's yours. If they want a copy, they can pay you for it. The exceptions are the bank and your insurance company, both of which will require a copy. If you gave a broker or seller a copy of that survey, you've made a mistake. If the surveyor gave them a copy, you can probably proceed legally against the surveyor for giving out a copy. As an "appraiser", he is bound by confidentiality rules.
100% correct. You paid for and bought the survey. None of the other parties in the deal have any right to that survey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
1)
2) Get an attorney. You may be able to file suit AND place a lien against the boat. A lien will have to be paid off before the boat can be sold or financed.
Well yes, but getting an attorney may cost more than you will ever recover. I might consider filing a claim against the broker. Not sure about Canada but in the US you can go to small claims court for $1000.00 claim with no lawyer. Read the contract that I assume was prepared by the broker and see what guarantees are given.
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Old 13-01-2012, 16:24   #10
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it may be worth a quick consultation with an attorney to investigate whether you should put a lien on the boat for the money to compensate for the damages.
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Old 13-01-2012, 16:33   #11
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

One other thought. Not sure about boat brokerage, but in real estate, the owner owes the broker their commission... Might team up with the broker for your $1000 plus his/her 10%. That might get the owner's attention.
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Old 13-01-2012, 16:59   #12
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

Is the broker a member of a professional organization? Sometimes these handle disputes for the cost of a stamp (or email).
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Old 13-01-2012, 17:36   #13
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

With all the purchase agreements I've seen, the seller is obligated to sell the boat to you unless you exercise one of your back-out options, or you default on some obligation of yours. I've never seen one where the seller can just decide "sorry, I changed my mind".

That said, you've got no leverage other than having a lawyer send them a nasty letter, and escalating to a full suit if that doesn't work. A good broker would be figuring out how to make the deal close, and it's not clear how much effort this one has put into that. If you pursue a case I can't see how you'd not win, but the problem is at what cost. The unfortunate reality is that it's probably not worth it, either financially, or for all the bad Karma.

I would, however, be very vocal about the boat in question. And if the broker is still representing the boat after your experience, I've be very vocal about who that broker is too.

It's a crappy situation, but don't let it get the best of you. Warn others, then move on.
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Old 14-01-2012, 08:01   #14
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

Good advice from all. Appreciate the support. FYI... I've not parted with the survey to anyone (not the broker nor owner). If anyone hears of a recent Dec 2012 pre-purchase survey completed on the vessel "Gypsy Rose", please let me know, as it would be correct to say, it would be stolen. I Like your advice "Twisted Tree" about making a little noise and ensuring the broker step up. These were my thoughts too but he (Andre, at Toronto Yacht Sales) is not doing that and simply implies; what are you going to do, pay huge legal fees to get back $1,000. He would never put the current owner and myself as buyer together nor give us contact information even after he had my deposit and signed agreement.
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Old 14-01-2012, 08:05   #15
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Re: Advice please - Gemini purchase gone awry Dec 2012

Ontario Broker, Andre Ganton of Toronto Yacht Sales. Association there is the Ontario Marine Operators Association. Currently checking to see if he's a member however it's not listed on his site.
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